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The Philippine new vehicle market expanded by almost 20% to 26,370 units in May 2022 from 22,062 units a year earlier, according to member wholesale data released jointly by the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA).

The domestic vehicle market recovery continued to gain momentum last month after the latest Covid restrictions were lifted at the end of February, driven by strong demand for commercial vehicles. Economic growth in the country accelerated to 8.3% year on year in the first quarter of 2022 from 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2021, driven by strong private consumption. The central bank raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points in May from a historic low of 2% in response to rising global inflation.

The data showed vehicle sales increased by close to 15% to 126,273 units in the first five months of 2022 from 110,215 units a year earlier, with commercial vehicle sales surging by 26% to 94,727 units while passenger vehicle sales fell were down by 10% at 31,546 units. This did not include sales by members of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, which reported a 14% sales increase to 58,916 vehicles in 2021.

Toyota sold 65,662 vehicles in the five-month period, more than half the total; followed by Mitsubishi with 16,213 units; Nissan 9,571 units; Suzuki with 8,157 units; and Ford with 6,945 units.

CAMPI president Rommel Gutierrez was upbeat about the domestic vehicle market after its strong performance in the last there months, saying: “The economic recovery from the ripple effects of the pandemic and the overall robust domestic demand are major contributing factors to the continued improvement of the automotive sales performance recorded in May.”

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By GlobalData